Being exposed to IT equipment from an early age made me interested in this career path
Growing up, my dad worked in the computer and printer industry and because of this I was constantly in the presence of technology. I ended up tinkering around with the computers I had access to and figuring stuff out as I went.
IT is forever changing, there’s always new systems to learn and new technology coming out
The grand plan was always to go into IT, it was an area where I would constantly be able to learn new things and grow my skills. I studied Computer Network Technology at Northumbria University before working for a number of large organisations. My first role out of university was in a computer hardware company contact centre where I worked in their contact centre this was not the role for me and I quickly moved on and got my first role in an internal IT team at a large manufacturing company.
I had to decide between staying where I felt comfortable and looking for a new challenge
I studied while working for a large tech company and achieved the Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) accreditation during my personal development time.
I then moved to work with networks and servers within a high-end fashion organisation which gave me the experience I needed to apply for an IT Infrastructure Engineer role at Connect Health in September 2019. I’d never worked within a team as small as the Information Management & Technology team at Connect or within healthcare before, but I was excited about the change of scene.
I was welcomed into the IM&T team at Connect Health with open arms
IT is a small world and I’d worked with a few of my Connect Health colleagues in previous jobs and the people I hadn’t worked with before were approachable and friendly. You can often see the executive directors around head office which feels very reassuring, it gives a sense of camaraderie.
I started at Connect Health as an IT Infrastructure Engineer before moving into the senior role. Then, in February 2022, I was asked to step into the role of interim Head of IMT service operations and have recently acquired the permanent position. My role involves coaching the team, building them up and motivating them.
At Connect Health, you’re able to move into more senior roles without having to wait for someone to leave the business
The career framework at Connect Health is excellent, there is a set progression route which is a massive motivator for the team.
Connect notices the things you do to help the business and offers performance based pay reviews or promotions and take on board constructive feedback. I’ve seen improvements to the way we work first hand based solely on the comments I have made to my line manager.
Healthcare was a new challenge for me
In the companies I’ve previously worked for, staff were mostly, if not all, tech savvy. At Connect Health, we work closely with clinicians who maybe don’t understand the jargon as well; my job is to ensure that the IM&T team help them out as best we can and make sure systems are clear and easy to use. It was quite a big learning curve for me to come into a healthcare company from technology corporations, but I was able to manage a lot of my own time and, in turn, adapt the skills I had brought with me into Connect. I was also able to develop my abilities further alongside my daily tasks of troubleshooting, organising hardware upgrades and keeping up to date with ever-changing technology.
I always like to have a project on the go
When Covid hit in 2020, I was working on a project to make accessing files from remote locations easier for colleagues.
Having migrated to Microsoft Azure Cloud Infrastructure before the pandemic, it meant that we were prepared for the shift to lock down. I even employed the Virtual Desktop project while I was abroad in Thailand, proving that the system worked as it should. Outside of work, I am passionate about IT, too. I am secretary of a clay pigeon shooting club in Beamish, Stanley, where I am responsible for running the website.
It’s brilliant to see the Founder and Directors of Connect Health invest time in their employees and encourage them to reach long-term goals.
My goal is to help shape Connect Health via technology
My ambition is to become a Chief Information Officer but in order to do that I need to know a company incredibly well, so that’s what I’m working towards. I recently signed up to some mentoring sessions hosted by the founder of Connect which has helped guide me in the right direction when it comes to my career.
My advice to anyone looking to join the IM&T team at Connect Health would be “don’t be frightened to make mistakes”
Technology changes so quickly, no matter which sector you’re in. The best thing you can do to succeed is to invest in your own time and give things a try. If you break some part of the technology in the process, take the opportunity to ask for help and learn from the mistake.
If you’d like to find out more about working at Connect Health, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
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